Floodwaters engulfed over three fourths of the country until Wednesday, affecting rail, road, and river communications network and killing 20 people in nine districts so far.

 The health emergency control room said at least 20 people were killed after being washed away by floodwaters or drowned or in snake bites in nine districts since July 10.

Of those drowned, two died in Lalmonirhat, five in Netrokona, one each in  Nilphamari, Chattogram, Cox’s Bazar and Gaibandha, three in Kurigram and four in Jamalpur.

One died after suffering snake bite in Nilphamari and another one in Lalmonirhat during the same time.

Since early hours on Wednesday, railway authorities were forced to suspend or delay services on two routes after floodwaters submerged rail tracks.

Heavy currents in rivers washed away roads in many places in the flood affected 21 districts

and slowed down national ferry services on major routes like Paturia-Dulatdia and Shimulia-Kathalbari, causing huge traffic congestion on either sides of the rivers.

‘Our ferries are too weak to cope with the strong current of Padma,’ Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation’s deputy general manager at Shimulia-Kathalbari ferry station Chowdhury Mohammad Nasir told New Age correspondent in Munshiganj.

He said that only two of their 15 ferries usually operating on the route could carry vehicles across the river on Wednesday.

The Shimulia-Kathalbari river crossing connects Dhaka with southern districts of Bangladesh.

Heavy current also delayed ferry services on Paturia-Daulatdia river crossing, causing huge traffic congestion on either sides of the river crossing route.

New Age correspondent in Manikganj reported that over 500 vehicles, including those laden with goods got stranded at the river crossing until Wednesday evening.

Thousands of passengers travelling between the capital and the south and south western districts remained stuck at traffic jams at the river crossing.

BIWTC’s Aricha regional office’s deputy general manager Zillur Rhaman said that they had to reduce trip numbers across the crossing as strong current increased trip time besides reducing ferries’ capacity to carry vehicles.

BIWTC officials said that the river became so unpredictable that they needed to adjust pontoon every now and then to keep the river crossing route operational.

The Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre in its afternoon bulletin said that the rivers Padma and Jamuna were swelling up and may continue to do so over the next 24 hours until 9:00am.

The River Padma was predicted to flow above its danger level at Bhyagyakul point over the same period, said the FFWC.

The Padma was already flowing 11 cms above the danger level at Goalondo.

New Age correspondent in Lalmonirhat reported that railway communication between Dhaka and the northern districts of Lalmonirhat and Gaibandha remained suspended since Wednesday morning.

He said that Teesta submerged a six kilometres stretch of the rail track at Badiakhali in Gaibandha under almost 10 feet of water.

At least 30 villages were inundated by floodwaters after protection embankment in the district was breached in six points over the next two days.

So far over 250 villages have been swamped by floodwaters.

The northern district of Gaibandha also remained out of reach of road communication for three days until Tuesday after floodwaters damaged its major roads.

On Wednesday, road communication resumed partly, reported our Lalmonirhat correspondent.

New Age correspondent in Mymensingh reported that rail communications with Jamalpur was disrupted after flood waters overtaken Dewanganj railway station in the early hours of Wednesday.

Railway office sources said that they had to divert trains midway after finding that parts of the rail tracks were submerged in flood waters at places.

It caused a lot of sufferings to the passengers who were behind their schedule because of the unforeseen delay.

Disruption of communication came in the way of disaster responders preventing them from reaching flood victims with help.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies on Tuesday said that it became very difficult for them to reach flood victims in Bangladesh and neighbouring India and Nepal because of communication disruption.

It feared that many flood victims may remain hungry because of the situation.

Internal communication in districts has also been badly disrupted with upazilas remaining cut off from district headquarters.

For instance, the headquarters of the hilly district Bandarban remained cut off from its five upazilas — Ruma, Ali Kadam, Lama, Thanchi, and Naikhyanchari.

The disaster management and relief ministry estimates that floodwaters damaged almost 300 of road in Cox’s Bazar, about 100 kms in Gaibandha and 21 kms in Habiganj.

About six bridges and culverts in Gaibandha were also damaged by the flooding besides several hundred km of embankment across the country.

New Age Correspondent in Kurigram reported that road communication between Kurigram and Bhurungamari land port was disrupted after floodwaters damaged parts of the road.

He said over a dozen villages went under water Wednesday after floodwaters washed away embankments at Roumary and Bamondanga upazila.

Water however receded from rivers in hilly region in Bangladesh after wreaking havoc there for nine days.

The FFWC in its afternoon bulletin said that 14 rivers were flowing above their danger levels at 23 points.

The rivers Jamuna and Padma would continue to rise over the next 48 hours, said FFWC.

Situation in Kurigram, Jamalpur, Gaibandha, Bogura, Tangail, Manikganj, Faridpur and Sirajgani district might deteriorate over the next 24 hours until 9:00am Thursday, according to FFWC.

New Age correspondent in Sirajganj reported that five villages went under water in the district after floodwaters washed away a part of the protection embankment at Kazipur point.

The FFWC said that the overall situation might improve as no significant rainfall was predicted in the upstream in the next 48 hours from 9:00am Wednesday.

The Met Office predicted light to moderate rain at few places inside Bangladesh.

The Met Office recorded country’s highest rainfall of only 6 mms in 24 hours till 6:00pm at Dimla in Rangpur.

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